After reading Oathbringer, the third book of The Stormlight Archive, I was nervous about reading Rhythm of War. Oathbringer was kinda a mess and givenAfter reading Oathbringer, the third book of The Stormlight Archive, I was nervous about reading Rhythm of War. Oathbringer was kinda a mess and given how excellent the first two books of the series were, I was very, very disappointed.
Thank God, Rhythm of War has restored my love for the series. While not without flaws, we get lots of payoffs for situations set up in the last three books. We get answers for questions we've long had. We get action and deep thoughts in equal measure. There's both humor and pathos in spades.
I appreciated finally getting a bit more on-page time for both Jasnah and Wit, two characters who always appealed to me. I also really enjoyed seeing many of the elements of Sanderson's cosmere finally coalescing. Another plus: we're seeing how Cosmere books aren't exactly pure fantasy, but contain many sci-fi elements (particularly in Navani and Wit's storylines).
There's also a lot about mental health in Rhythm of War, which I appreciated -- the acknowledgements mention some experts Sanderson consulted -- kudos to him for taking the step of getting the help and then giving credit for the improved representation.
Sanderson also incorporated SO MANY fabulous female characters in Rhythm of War, and there are many dynamic scenes with no men (or boys or "malen" ;) ) in sight. There's also a trans character who I thought was well-handled -- it wasn't thought of as a topic of conversation or debate, but simply a characteristic of that character. And a hint that Rlain -- a favorite from all the way from the beginning of the series -- might be asexual or homosexual. Again, this isn't made into a big deal or an issue, it's just a piece of information (he remembers that he once had assumed mateform, but things hadn't gone as he and his friends "had expected").
At over 1200 pages, it was a little overwhelming to complete Rhythm of War. The end of the book talks about a major event just days away. I'm hoping, hoping, hoping that the series resolves in the next book, with that alluded-to event as the climax of the book (or maybe the end of Part One, with the resolution in Part Two). ...more
Hanna Alkaf's THE WEIGHT OF OUR SKY is an outstanding book for ages 13 and up.
In 1969 Melasia, Melati Ahmad is a young girl with a few problems. Her Hanna Alkaf's THE WEIGHT OF OUR SKY is an outstanding book for ages 13 and up.
In 1969 Melasia, Melati Ahmad is a young girl with a few problems. Her father, a police officer, died a few years back while trying to protect the public during civil unrest. And since then, she has experienced the symptoms of severe OCD.
However, since Mel's only 16, and since mental health awareness wasn't strong in 1969, she doesn't really know WHAT is happening to her. Thus, when family members tell her it's a djinn attacking her, she believes it.
Afraid that her illness is causing stress to her mother and might scare her friends, she keeps it on the low-down as much as possible.
Then comes the day of massive rioting between ethnic Malays and ethnic Chinese who don't want to share Malaysia. Mel and her friend Saf are caught in its early stages inside a movie theater. When Mel is given a chance to escape the theater, should she take it and leave Saf behind? This is just one of the moral conundrums Mel will find herself in during the Kuala Lampur riots on 1969.
With meaty issues to discuss and emotional complexity, as well has gorgeous writing, I highly recommend THE WEIGHT OF OUR SKY not just for teens to read on their own, but for book club or classroom use. Adult readers will appreciate it, as well. The only caveat is that this book will be very, very triggery for some people due to the extremely realistic depiction of OCD (trust me, I have OCD, and this is one of the most accurate depictions I've ever read) and to the descriptions of civil unrest (including death). ...more